Today I found some Sarcoscypha coccinea, commonly known as the scarlet elf cup, growing in the jungle on a fallen log. The scarlet elf cup mushroom is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, has been found around Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. I am very happy to see it here in Costa Rica!
It is in fact edible and delicious, though you may not think so to look at them! They has a firm flesh and slightly peppery taste, and can be eaten raw or lightly sauteed in butter. Some mushroom guides say they are poisonous, but actually it is just that you would not want to eat too many, or to try to survive off them alone as they are powerful medicinal mineral rich entities.
Mushrooms are considered by many including myself, to be not merely vegetables but actually the Third Kingdom, complimenting the animal and plant kingdoms. Mushrooms are fascinating creatures that defy normal biology and can thrive in many difficult environments. Many mushrooms have been found to have profound health giving qualities such as the Shiitake mushroom, originally found in Japan, but now cultivated around the world.
The possible benefits of the Scarlet elf cup are yet to be fully understood but their beauty and important role in the forest ecology is undeniable.
Shiitake Mushroom Benefits.
Support Immune Function.
Destroy Cancer Cells.
Support Cardiovascular Health.
Contain Antimicrobial Properties.
Boost Energy and Brain Function.
Provide Vitamin D.
Please note: I strongly advise to never pick or eat any wild vegetable or fungus you are not intimately acquainted with. Great care is needed, tuition by a knowledgeable elder or trained guide is essential.
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